Ok last time I updated this I thought I was having a mental breakdown (and I probably was). Several things have occurred since then and I am VERY VERY hopeful that I’m on an upward trajectory. Granted there will be major ups and downs but I’m hopeful that day by day I’ll be stronger (mentally and physically) to endure the downs so I can appreciate the ups.
1) A week ago I was so scared by how I was feeling (like I was mentally slipping away from myself + everyone around me) and sobbing non stop that I felt like I snapped. BTW I now understand and can relate to the movie Girl Interrupted. Depression + anxiety are intense and powerful feelings that can make you feel like a shell of a person.
I told my midwife during our last appointment and they immediately referred me to a specialized post partum program at the Women’s College of Health (that I’m currently waiting on to be assessed).
I contacted my family doctor who referred me to a bunch of therapists that could do video sessions since there was no way I could haul ass to downtown easily anymore – especially based on the demands of Kensi. She also heavily recommended going on anti depressants because as she explained it, depression is a disease and if left untreated for a long time, can cause damage to your brain.
I consulted with another doctor who also explained it to me (with a picture no less). She essentially said my brain is likely leaking more serotonin than it’s producing, like a bucket that has holes in the bottom. Sleep deprivation obviously heavily contributes to the leaking holes – probably producing more holes or making them bigger! The anti depressants is supposed to help me plug up the holes so that with time my serotonin can be replenished (i.e. more serotonin in than getting out).
Listen – I’m no expert on depression or anxiety but this makes a lot of sense to me. First – I was carrying a baby for 10 months that pumped a ton of hormones in my body. Then this baby gets ejected from me and then bam, my hormones are supposed to just resume back to normal in 2 weeks with no effects? That makes no sense to me. If it took 10 months to produce the baby, shouldn’t I be more forgiving and understanding that it could take my mood, brain and body just as long (if not longer) to try to go back to normal?
The danger is obviously waiting too long to do something about post partum depression because like my doctor said earlier, if left untreated – this could cause more damage and be tougher to recover from.
2) So far myself (along with Dan and my Mom) are heavily monitoring how I’m feeling and doing day to day and then we’ll decide whether I want to take the anti depressants. I’m hesitant to do it not because I don’t believe in the role of medication, but because there’s quite a commitment to taking them in terms of length of time. I also don’t feel comfortable just going on them immediately without waiting to see how the therapy sessions go.
So far I’ve had 2 sessions (each from a different therapist) – one I definitely didn’t like, and the other one was just OK but I’ve never done therapy before so I have no idea whether you’re supposed to just click with someone instantaneously or whether it takes more than one session. I’m willing to do a couple more before deciding whether I should try to find another one that I have a better connection with.
With all that being said – I have never been 1) more grateful for the love + support of everyone who have messaged me and are rooting for me. Even people I haven’t talked to in ages message or check in on me to ask how I’m doing and that gives me even more reason to be frank + honest about this whole experience.
3) Last but not least, I swear to god I think it’s a sign from the universe telling me Katy, keep GOING and keep sharing. I know I asked the universe for a sign to tell me whether I have the strength to continue and I like to think the universe responded by dropping that big giant public Glamour article that Chrissy Tiegen wrote revealing SHE had PPD as well.
Everything she talked about in that article I could relate to, though parts of it seem way more severe than what I’ve experienced (and hopefully won’t get to that point of experiencing!). After reading that article, several things struck me:
- Depression + Anxiety does not discriminate. Chrissy Tiegen has John Legend, her mom who lives with her AND a nanny – and she’s still experiencing similarly powerful and intense feelings that I’m dealing with. For weeks I was wracked with such intense guilt over not being able to get my shit together, especially because Dan wasn’t working full time yet and my mom lives with me too. How could I feel so terrible when unlike other moms I know, I can take a shower or eat a meal uninterrupted or even go outside to walk the dog because I know someone is helping out with the baby.
- I refuse to suffer for as long as she did. She had her baby in April and didn’t go see a doctor until December. There is no fucking way I’m going to allow myself to suffer for that long – hence when I thought I was having a mental breakdown I immediately called everyone I could think of to figure out HOW DO I GET BETTER. And that’s what my new commitment is focused on – getting better and feeling like myself. I’m by no means in the clear but ever since I took the step to just reach out and get a bunch of therapy sessions, there was a sense of relief that I was finally doing something within my control (in this situation that otherwise feels powerless and out of control).
- If Chrissy Teigen has anxiety about going outside, then I don’t feel so damn bad that I feel the same way. It’s clear Chrissy has a lot of anxiety about a bunch of different things and I feel the same way. Ever since Kensi came along, my confidence in anything and everything has been shattered. And very very slowly – I’m rebuilding it back up.
That’s all I have for now but note I’m rewarding myself RIGHT NOW with this fine fellow (no not Dan haha) and it feels GREAT: